Hawaii HTA approves additional marketing funds By Shane Nelson / November 20, 2009 Share 1 -- The Hawaii Tourism Authority has approved an additional $1.23 million to stimulate both short- and long-term travel to the state. The money will pay for a booth in the U.S. pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, an event expected to attract more than 70 million people over nearly six months. The funds will also help pay for programs designed to boost load factors on Japan Airlines, stimulate South Korean business meeting bookings in the islands and support next May's Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival. "While we remain cautiously optimistic [about] the increase in visitor arrivals from the U.S. West over the past five consecutive months, we continue to challenge our marketing partners and staff to develop innovative ways to boost travel to Hawaii," HTA President and CEO Mike McCartney said in a statement. "These four programs are prime examples of opportunities that arose in the marketplace that could be immediately secured through our marketing opportunity fund. I'm confident that they offer direct benefits to our visitor industry." The $10 million marketing opportunity fund was established in June specifically to provide the HTA with greater flexibility to finance programs boosting travel to Hawaii. $8.74 million of that fund has now been spent.